Tuesday, November 5, 2013

fall sports

I've been doing a terrible job at keeping up with the ole' blog.  I'm realizing I have a ton of photos on my phone of the boys sports they played so far this fall, that have never made it onto my computer. So here are a few shots of the boys fall activities so far...

First, Logan played baseball.  He was at Rookie level, which  meant coach pitch.  No more hitting off the T.  I'm proud he did so well, and really enjoyed every second.  He really loves baseball and I love watching him play!  His face just lights up and he loves every single thing about the game.  I hope he plays it for years and years to come.  He is so passionate and has an arm like a cannon.

Dylan, for the first time ever, played lacrosse.  It was a clinic, where he learned the basics of how to play.  Such an interesting game.  He took the clinic with several of his "dudes" and I think he liked it well enough he'll try it for real in the spring.
Logan also became a Cub Scout.  As a second grader, he's a Wolf and is in a den with 9 other boys.  The leaders are so nice and the boys have a ton of fun indoor and outdoor activities planned for this year.  Logan and Dylan have already gotten to camp twice with Scouts and Andrew this fall.  And this week we are involved in helping them collect food for the local food pantry in time for the holidays.  Dylan is building a model rocket to launch, and both boys will start building their Pinewood Derby cars soon.  They are both in Dens with such nice boys and it keeps them involved in community outreach.  Its really a wonderful thing.

Happy Halloweenie!

Halloween came up on us quickly this Fall.  Its been a super busy full speed ahead kind of fall.  Luckily, Andrew totally takes over costume requests.  If it were up to me, the boys would probably be sporting something not very original and store bought.  But Andrew really gets into it, and he loves making the boys requests for costumes come through by sewing/stapling/gluing and crafting them up something cool.

This year, Dylan wanted to be Desmond Miles, a character from a video game he loves.  I didn't even know what or who that was, but Andrew looked him up and created a costume including not only the clothing to the T, but a hidden blade and built in candy bag for treats.

Logan loves to learn about squid, and when we were at a theme park earlier this fall, bought a squid hat at his souvenir.  It was only natural that he would want a full body costume to go with the hat.

Dylan and his friend C (from Duck Dynasty, can't you tell?)
This year we crossed over a new milestone.  Dylan asked to Trick or Treat with some friends from school, who live in a different part of our neighborhood.  One of the Moms went and trailed behind them, and I stayed home to walk Logan through out neighborhood.  I have to admit it broke my heart a tiny bit to watch Dylan go off but he had so much fun!   Logan enjoyed some one on one time with Andrew and I, and loved handing out candy too.
We also had another milestone this year... Dylan carved his entire pumpkin on his own. Sigh.  My boy is growing up!
Here is Dylan's:

And here is Andr .... um.....Logan's:

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Cranberry Chicken Quinoa Salad

Just back from a simply wonderful weekend getaway in the Virginia country/mountains with some high school girlfriends.  Delightful.  Beautiful log cabin nestled at the foot of Old Rag Mountain, near the Shenandoah National Park, Washington Virginia (where the Inn at Little Washington is located), tons of vineyards, quaint tiny village towns, beautiful fall foliage, wonderful food, hot tub surrounded by hills and 20 degree weather at night, laughter until you think your belly is going to split open, and no internet access.  Ahhhhh. 

All of the girls brought various ingredients to make various dishes to share while we were there.  There was chili, lasagna, baked French toast (to DIE for!), fancy cheeses, chocolates, artichoke dip, curry couscous, cider, fresh salads...you name it, we had it.  One salad I tasted this weekend came pre-purchased from Moms Organic Market, and after I tasted it I knew I had to try and make it myself.  I was inspired by some of the talk and cooking this weekend to try and implement some healthier meals here at home.  I've always wanted to try to make quinoa but I've had NO idea what to do with it.  I was afraid it would just taste dry and boring.  Until I tasted this salad, and realized how wrong I was.  Yum!!

I drove home early this afternoon, unpacked my car, and started chopping/boiling.  My version came out a little different than what I tasted (I added chicken too), but its really delicious, healthy and full of flavor.  It could be eaten by itself, served over a green salad, on crackers, or in pita bread.

Cranberry Chicken Quinoa Salad

6-8 chicken breast tenderloins (raw) **
1 cup quinoa seeds
1 small package of slivered almonds
2 1/2 cups water
1 bunch of fresh parsley
1 bunch of fresh green onions
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
3 TBSP honey
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup raisins
fresh cracked pepper
salt to taste

Boil a large pot of water.  Add chicken tenderloins, boil for 15 minutes.  Chop into bite size pieces and set aside. ** The chicken is totally optional and can easily be omitted. I thought adding chicken would make this more of a main course meal type salad but you certainly don't have to add chicken.

Boil 2 1/2 cups of water in smaller pot.  Once it comes to a boil, add a sprinkle of salt and 1 cup of quinoa seeds. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.  Fluff with fork and set aside.

Okay, now for the rest of the ingredients (which you can be chopping while the chicken and quinoa are boiling).

Chop the parsley and green onions finely.  I didn't measure out how much I used but I would guess once chopped each equated to about 1/4 cup, give or take a little.   Add them to large bowl where everything will ultimately end up. 

Add raisins, Craisins, and slivered almonds to bowl with parsley and green onions.   Add chopped chicken and cooked quinoa to the bowl.  Add olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, a little sea salt and as much fresh cracked pepper as you like.  Mix well.  You can eat at room temp, or refrigerate.  Its delicious cold!!

And now, check out some of the photos of our weekend girls getaway.  Ronda has an amazing camera and I know her pictures are much more amazing than these I took with my phone.  But still, it gives an idea as to the beauty and fun of the weekend.

View from the deck at one of the vineyards in Washington, VA

This is the cabin we rented, at the base of Old Rag Mountain.  The hot tub area out back of the house was built right into the side of the mountain. 

Wines at one of the five vineyards we visited.   We rented a van and a driver to take us around the countryside, picnicking and wine tasting all day long.

View from the front deck on our house.

Inside of our 'lodge', cozy cozy!

Lovely, just lovely.  My spirit feels renewed, revived and I feel like I can take on the world.

Friday, September 6, 2013

2nd and 5th!

We survived the first week of school, but just barely.  


Dylan spent all of last week at the Outer Banks with his best friend and his family.  They spent hours everyday tubing behind their boat, and swimming in their pool and at the beach.  He arrived back this past Monday.  I missed him so much!  We spent the whole Labor Day weekend at neighborhood BBQ's and at our pool, but it was just so strange only having Logan and not Dylan.  Dylan got back Monday afternoon and said he had a great time, and that his ear hurt a little bit.  Uh oh.   I had some swimmers ear drops on hand, so treated him with drops and sent him for the first day.

Well, by the 2nd day of school it was really hurting him quite a bit.  Took him to the doc the morning before the 3rd day of school only to find out double ear infection.  He stayed home that day (yesterday) since he couldn't even hear out of the left side.  I kept a heating pad on it, and he rested.  Last night, at midnight, he projectile vomited all over his bedroom ... FRUIT PUNCH.  Have you ever tried to shampoo splattered fruit punch vomit out of carpet in the middle of the night?  TWO HOURS later we all attempted to go back to sleep, but needless to say, Dylan missed another day of school today.  So he went two out of four days.  Ugh.

Regardless, the boys were both very excited to begin school.  Logan is attending a special classroom at a  nearby elementary school with a smaller classroom focused on teaching behavioral strategies.  He has made a new friend already, and is excited to be part of a brand new beautiful school. And this will be Dylan's final year in elementary school.   The workload will be a lot.. they really expect the kids to do quite a bit to be ready for middle school.  But he can handle it, and  he has such a great group of friends!

Here they are on their first day...
  2nd and 5th grades!!

camping trip to Luray!

In an attempt to get caught up on blog posts (thanks for the push, Chris), I am realizing I never blogged about our totally awesome camping trip to Jellystone Luray back in early August. Shame on me!  It was such a fun, awesome week spent with my Mom and Robby, and with some friends of ours, the B family.  It was spectacular!

This was our super cute camping cabin. Will be hard to tent camp ever again, after having A/C, a fridge, a real bed and our own bathroom!  Mom and Robby had their trailer right behind our cabin so we were close by and ate all of our meals together!

Our cabin faced towards a huge field where the kids could play and run!

The boys played laser tag everyday!

Inside of our cabin..

Outdoor group cooking...


My friend S at the bonfire...

She made awesome Jello shooters!

best waterslide ever!


We played games during 'happy hour'

And played kickball, baseball, and soccer

My Mom made a totally awesome bubble solution that made GIGANTIC bubbles!

We rented golf carts for the week, one of the best parts of the trip!  We were constantly taking spins around the campsite, the kids loved it.

 S made brownies that looked like hamburgers...
We even watched the season opener Redskins game outside...


On Friday (day 5) we checked out of the campsite and stopped at Luray Caverns on the way home. Fantastic!

Such a great vacation... it was close, easy, relaxing and not too expensive either.  I think we'll do it or something very similar next summer!